August 24, 2016
By Erick Olsen.
Hear GOD's Message, House of Jacob! Yes, you?House of Israel! GOD's Message: 'What did your ancestors find fault with in me that they drifted so far from me, took up with Sir Windbag and turned into windbags themselves? It never occurred to them to say, "Where's GOD, the God who got us out of Egypt, Who took care of us through thick and thin?"'
It is tempting to pounce on the use here of "Sir Windbag" as an opportunity, permission even to launch into a critique of certain political figures. At least one, anyway. But the intended audience is, of course, not the foul-mouthed blowhard but the folks who follow, those of us who jump on a wagon. We jump not out of enthusiasm for the destination but rather so that we might experience the rush of the ride and get our own chance to shout. We have things about which we are angry or at least confused, and it feels in the short-term a heck of lot easier to find a scapegoat than to engage the work of reconciliation and healing.
This still feels like an indictment of politics as usual, so I'll make a clearer shift into churchy stuff. There are only a few weeks at most until our congregations "come back from summer," so many of us now take deep breaths and longer naps to store up. My hope for myself is that I'm fueling up for the right thing: remembering through thick and thin the God of my salvation, my life, my family, my good dog, my dear church. My God. I hope I'm not inhaling just so that I'll have enough hot air to speak in mean ways about "the misguided other." I hope I'm not resting solely so that I will have sufficient energy to run clever programs and make all the right meetings. I know fully well that righteous anger has its place. I further know that committees and snazzy programs serve a purpose. But more than anything, I know that we need to be reminded that God is good and close at hand with love at the ready, even for windbags like me.
Keep me, Lord, from drifting into anything that diminishes your glory. Keep me focused at all times on you, grateful for grace. Remind me always that I am beloved, called to remind others ? even or especially those with whom I disagree ? that they too are precious in your sight. Amen.
Spirited Wednesday: August 24, 2016 , by Erick Olsen.